2016 Toyota Tacoma's New Six-Speed Automatic Has the Numbers

Toyota Tacoma SR5 12 II

We've written a lot about the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, and at the heart of the new beast is the new D-4S Atkinson-cycle engine that can move from a standard Otto-cycle mode to Atkinson as well as from direct-injection to port injection as the demands on the vehicle change. But maybe more important is how well spaced and capable the all-new six-speed automatic transmission is, and how much better it is when compared to the engines it's replacing and competing with.

Here's a quick look at the available gears and separation of the 2015 versus 2016 Tacoma automatic transmissions.

2015 Tacoma: 3.73:1 gears, five-speed automatic

1st: 3.52:1
2nd: 2.04:1
3rd: 1.40:1
4th: 1.00:1
5th: 0.72:1

2016 Tacoma: 3.91:1 gears, six-speed automatic

1st: 3.60:1
2nd: 2.09:1
3rd: 1.49:1
4th: 1.00:1
5th: 0.69:1
6th: 0.58:1

Although the new gear box has one more overdrive gear, the two transmissions are relatively similar — separated by fractions. However, the fact that the new six-speed is lighter and smaller, and is paired with more horsepower and better efficiency from the new V-6 engine, makes it obvious that this technology provides exponential advantages. The gearing spread alone (4.92 versus 6.21, old versus new) is enough to make the vehicle more competitive.

Here's a quick comparison of the new Toyota Tacoma gear ratios multiplied by the new axle ratio (3.91:1) compared to the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado's six-speed auto transmission gear ratios and axle gears (3.42:1). We should note the GM 3.6-liter 24-valve direct-injection V-6 has 27 more horsepower and 4 more pounds-feet of torque. EPA ratings for the new Tacoma 4x4 are 18/23/20 mpg city/highway/combined; the Colorado 4x4 gets 17/24/20.

2016 Tacoma

1st: 14.08:1
2nd: 8.17:1
3rd: 5.83:1
4th: 3.91:1
5th: 2.70:1
6th: 2.27:1

2016 Colorado

1st: 13.89:1
2nd: 8.11:1
3rd: 5.30:1
4th: 3.97:1
5th: 2.91:1
6th: 2.29:1

Manufacturer images


Toyota Tacoma Limited 46 II




.58 for 6th gear? That's going to be worthless....even with the 3.91 axle gear. The truck is either going to lug it's way around on the highway or never hit 6th, one of the two. The only time you need an overdrive that tall is when you're running 85MPH+

I'll give them credit for the lower gear ratios though...maybe now the truck will run door to door with the Frontier that's been on sale since 2005. Lol.

It's funny how this Tacoma is the LEAST impressive "new" truck in the segment but it's getting all the attention. What about the new Ranger that hit the news yesterday? What about the upcoming diesel Frontier?

6 speed is ok, but there is other news I care about more. Ford and Mike Levine says Ford won't talk about future products. But Mike just said they are working on a F-100 project to show off. That is all I need to know that a new small truck is coming. F-100 project truck in 2015/2016 to get people talking. Then F-100 confirmation in 2016/2017. F-100 debut 2018. That's all folks.

That looks like the ratios are just about the same, the Toyota having a slightly wider spread. The interesting part then is how well the transmission can keep the engine near peak torque.
a 2.27 (or 2.29 in the GM) final drive will get you 1800rpm at 70mph, goes up to 2060rpm at 80- sounds fine for flat cruising. I would concede that a tow package or other modification friendly bundle could benefit from lower gears- 4.30 sounds good to me.

Yeah let's talk about a new Ford that's three years away, the plant they want to use is scheduled to stop production in 2018 so three years before this f whatever they want to call it can even go into production. I agree that the Tacoma is still boring and overpriced.

@WXman The Tundra uses the high 6th gear and it's far from useless...

Most of the big 3 trucks use a ~.6 something top overdrive gear...

No one cares about the Ranger because until it's actually produced it's all smoke.

I bet the new Ranger will have that new mini-me powerstroke diesel that gets 50 mpg! Then the EPA will have to bring Ford back into reality with real MPG estimates, like they did for the C-Max.

6th gear should be useful for 55mph and higher.

Give me a combo where a truck runs 1800rpm at 70mph.

JTXLT - Calling the Ranger a F100 would allow Ford to save face by saying it is different than the global Ranger just like GM tried to say that the USA Colorado is significantly different than the global to keep the "USA1" types happy.

@ DB
When/if Toyota upgrades to an 8 speed automatic, then you can get a top gear of over 40mph/1k revs.

My ram 8 speed only revs 1600 rpm's at 70mph.

Lou_BC, So true. The Colorado is supposed to be 100% different except for a bag of bolts. Maybe it is, I can buy that. Is GM lying? I don't know. But it looks the same to me.

I tell you what. This Ranger or F-100 or whatever you call it is not supposed to be the global Ranger at all. It won't even be the same size. It will likely be much smaller. It will be on a different platform.

Either the global Ranger is changing and going smaller, or we are getting a different truck. This is very smart. If Ford brought over the global Ranger it would be a several years old truck based on an old platform and outdated compared to some of Ford's new offerings like the F-150. And I was not overly impressed by the look of the global Ranger - something is a little off. Ford can do much better for us.

Ford doesn't want the global Ranger here for two reasons 1) size and 2) cost. The next F100 has to be much smaller and cost a lot less.

What's more there is supposed to be a new SUV to go with it. Everest/Bronco. When the wife's Focus gets long in the tooth, in a couple years, the Everest would be the vehicle of choice if available. Everest? a beautiful vehicle-build it here and offer the American and Canadian consumer a real choice instead of the same unibody offshoots!

I disagree about the viability of the new midsizers being to close in size to the existing Ford half ton pickups.

GM has shown that the effect of the midsizers hasn't really impacted their sales.

The V6 half ton pickups would likely be the only pickups that the midsizers will or take sales from.

This will change when diesel midsizers start to hit your market. You will then see a few V8 customers consider the small diesels for towing and torque.

Ford will not produce a smaller unitary body pickup.

I do believe the global or T6 Ranger will find many homes in the US market.

Ford needs the Ranger to supplement the new aluminium half ton.

JTXLT Forget bout it. Ford says buy the over priced AL F150 or a car. Ford doesn't care what people/consumers want. No Ranger no F100, just cheaply built cars and f150 for the Ford folk!

I believe Toyota's move to a six speed was necessary.

The unfortunate aspect of the US vehicle market, including pickups is the effect CAFE is having on vehicle design and engineering.

The taller gearing is necessary and I doubt it will impact a vehicles performance too much.

If sixth is to tall a gear for the vehicle to operate efficiently it will just drop down to fifth.

I'm travelling at roughly 110kph at 2000rpm in my pickup, a manual diesel.

This is where a diesel really shines, it has the torque to move a vehicle with much taller gearing.

Gasoline engines don't have the same advantage as diesel.

The Taco's gearing seems to be fine with me, like I stated if the engine is struggling it will just drop back a gear.

johnny doe, Ford says buy a lot of things. They have been saying there will be a smaller truck but they have to do it right. There will be a F100/Ranger. They already started building the bed line for it in the body shop.

GM only starting offering the Colorado again for the first time this MY. It is too big and too expensive for a lot of people. Not everyone wants a 7/8 the size Silverado. Does GM care about those people? Lou looked at one and took a pass when he tried it out in person.

GM didn't make the Silverado all it could be. Was that the right strategy? Barclays Capital said GM had the worst large truck remodel in 15 years. Does GM care about large trucks? What about vans? GM got out of the van market to canabalize other GM vehicles with its Colorado. Does GM care?

JTXLT, welcome to PUTC newbie;) and johnny doe,
It's a ridiculous debate you guys are having.

Actually both companies care as does any manufacturer.

Ford made a poorer decision than GM in relation to it's pickup lineup and it is paying the price.

Ford anticipated that people will flock to the new aluminium F-150, this isn't/hasn't eventuated.

Ford needs to recover the billions it has spent on the investment into these aluminium F Series pickups. Ford can't go back as it is beyond the point of no return with these pickups.

But, Ford can introduce a new pickup to augment it current lineup of pickups.

I'm really looking forward to the monthly sales figures in a couple of days and weigh up the sales numbers against incentives for Ford.

Ford is in a bind, as it can not sell the new aluminium wonder trucks at a competitive enough price to cover the investment, added manpower (several thousand), material costs, added production costs as it main rivals.

Ford needs a Ranger, it will be the cheaper option to get a person into a Ford pickup.

The only cheaply built Trucks/Cars I've experience are GM models.

I know a lot of people who went from GM Vehicles into a Fords and are much happier. These are people who are not car enthusiast.

Why would anyone in this green earth get excited about a Ford Ranger! No really why?

If there is an increase in f series sale numbers over the previous year for August numbers what will you atteibute that too? Let me guess increase demand for superduty or 2014 model f150's

Where are you getting your data on demand for the f150?

I will make a prediction Al for August sales in full size pickups.
For month over previous month
Ford up
Chevy up
Ram down
Gmc down

Percentage wise
ford up single digit
Chevy up double digit
Ram down double digit
Gmc down single digit

I will even call out percentages to see how accurate I may or may not be.
F series up 3%
Silverado up 18%
Ram down 12%
Gmc down 1%

Big Al Any predictions you care to share?

Big Al from Oz - TTAC covered the whole "do car companies care about us" question.


"Care" is profit driven not altruistically motivated.

They care only to the level of what they can get away with and they care about our opinions only if it makes them money.

To clarify my predictions are for August 2014 vs August 2015

They care only to the level of what they can get away with and they care about our opinions only if it makes them money.

This is true.

Fat Al doesn't have data.

@JohnieDoe - Ford and GM are close when it comes to keeping their customers happy. FCA not so much.

Consumer Satisfaction Index:
Domestic automakers such as Ford (81) and General Motors (79) did well, however Fiat Chrysler (75) had four of its brands — Dodge (76), Jeep (75), Chrysler (74) and Fiat (73) — at the bottom of its list.

Lou_BC I get your points Ford GM are better for the most part, But Ford flew the middle finger when it came to offering more AKA midsize small truck

JTXLT Lou BC did like the rear seats for lack of room building a smaller Ford truck won't help Lou BC as there will be less room.

Frank They only thing cheap is your data. Go wrench on a Ford and GM truck, 9 times out of GM trucks are easier to work on and last longer. It's called keep it simple stupid.

The manufacturers care about the dealers first because the dealers order the vehicles from the manufacturer. The dealers for the most part are adverse to risk and will order what they believe will sell and not stay on the lot too long. Order automatic transmissions with a higher trim package in white, silver, and black.

Those sky high 6th gears are utterly useless once you are moving any kind of load. As absolutely fantastic as the ZF8 in the Rams are, even a broom in the bed knocks 8th out of contention for anything more than pure downhill duty. At least with 3.23 or 3.31 gears. Put a popup camper or a couple of bikes in the back, and you have a 6 speed tranny. That insists on getting itself lost in the no mans land that is 7th or 8th having to laboriously shift back with every application of the throttle. It's pretty much pure unloaded, filled with helium, EPA gearing.

Big spreads are nice with diesel truck engines with their huge torque and narrow rev ranges. Not so much for gassers. Not that a 6.2/1 spread is all that crazy, but is is getting towards the top end of what really makes functional (as in, not EPA tricking) sense.

@ johnny doe, you won't have to wrench on a Ford half as much as you do a chebby. Its called keep it simple stupid.

The addition of gears is great, but if the mapping is bad, it can make the vehicle miserable to drive. I notice that many new vehicles can't wait to get into top gear to save fuel, then are reluctant to downshift unless you really stab at the throttle.
If the new Toyota needs to sell 30% of their Tacoma's with the bed cover to meet mpg numbers, my guess is that they have tuned the transmission to get to 6th gear by 35 mph.
Hopefully I am wrong.

So, how come they didn't include the ratios for the 6-speed manual transmission? I would like that comparison.


I don't care if Ford F Series total sales exceeds itself from previous years.

What matter is did the F Series gain as much as the competition.

If Ford only made comparisons with itself it would be in dire straits, selling a handful of Model T's.

Old 6 speed stick:
4.17, 2.19, 1.49, 1.19, 1, 0.85; Reverse 3.61, Axle 3.727
New 6 speed stick:
3.98, 2.02, 1.32, 1, 0.85, 0.71; Reverse 3.39, Axle 4.3

truckdumb I've owned 2 Fords and help my friends work on some of theirs. There is no keep it simple stupid on Ford products. Owned 3 Chevys now and a 98 GMC now. All Chevy spend no where near the time of my Fords at the dealer ship.

That is not the correct way to look at it... Cause percentage increase month previous month of the year. Selling 5000 more trucks from the previous year when you sold 40,000 trucks will look better percentage wise as a manufacture that sold a 5000 increase on a 60,000 truck year. Also you really need to look at where the manufacture was last year. Gm was down on the year in July of 2014 from 2013. New model for gm and they were losing ground in July of 2014.

My 2015 Colorado runs 2000 rpm at 70 mph and it has enough torque. But at 1800 rmp for 60 mph, it's running low on torque.

I really appreciate PUTC. I like the fact you guys are interested in the gear ratios and the dyno testing. Really takes away from the BS The Tacoma has less HP than the Colorado but the Tacoma only lost 17.8% of it HP on the Dyno in the 2015 model. The Colorado lost 25.6% of its HP down to 227HP on the Dyno, that's what actually gets to the ground. The 2016 Tacoma is at 278hp, if it loses 17.8% it will have 228hp getting to the ground which is more than the Colorado, plus its lighter and geared better. Even the Tacoma Pro from last year was only behind the Colorado by 0.4 seconds and that's a lifted heavier version than the sport model Tacoma which would have likely beaten or tied the Colorado had you had the sport TRD Tacoma. Just amazing that at 305Hp; how the GM blows balls

the colorado 0 to 60 is 7.1 tacoma 7.9 that 0.8 as much 2 0r 3 trucks faster to 60 so your wrong.

also you said the tacoma is lighter and more power to the pavement how does it not beat the chevy look like toyota is the one that blows.

Why are 5th and 6th so close together, it should have been more like 5th is .8 and 6th is .64

I have a 4 cyl 4x4 Tacoma with the 6 speed auto. On a dead level road with only a driver for load, I don't hit 6 until about 60 and then the engine is about 1800 rpm. But it doesn't last long. It has no acceleration and the slightest little grade will slow it down and require more gas and subsequent down-shift to 5. Sixth really only works while going down hill. Including it on a 4 cyl is a mistake.

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